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February 9, 2017
SOLDIERS from 1 Int Bn
with airmen from 37
Sqn and Air Mobility
Training and Development Unit
(AMTDU), to develop and test
new procedures for distributing
intelligence psychological opera-
tions leaflets from the air.
OIC of the trial, WO2 Pete Henrichs,
said the pamphlet drop from a C-130
Hercules on November 26 at the
Evans Head Air Weapons Range in
NSW, was the result of a review of
their unit’s operating procedures in
“We discovered that we and the
Air Force did not have current pro-
cedures for dropping psyops leaflets
from Air Force aircraft, as we’d not
performed this method of delivery in
our aircraft since the Vietnam War,”
WO2 Henrichs said.
“Although as a unit, we have
dropped leaflets in other areas of
operations including Afghanistan and
Iraq from US aircraft.
“The dropping of leaflets is not
our first choice of disseminating
information to a local population or
an enemy, but it may be the most
effective way to reach certain target
audiences and therefore is a capabil-
ity we must maintain should opera-
Working with AMTDU and 37
Sqn aircrew and loadmasters, WO2
Henrichs and his soldiers developed
the most effective method of distrib-
uting the leaflets out the door of the
“After we staffed the idea up
to AMTDU and received approval
from their commander, Army and
Air Force collectively developed and
planned the new procedures and the
validation drop,” WO2 Henrichs said.
“Apart from the drop itself, our
main planning concern was environ-
mental. We ensured we used paper
which would break down naturally
over time and developed TTPs that
enabled the aircraft to accurately drop
the 78,000 leaflets onto the target
“We dropped the leaflets in 13
boxes, each containing 6000 pages,
completing four passes over the target
area which was 500m wide by 1.5km
Pte Tim Levitt was one of the six
1 Int Bn team members on the C-130
who assisted with the trial.
“I packed the modified boxes with
leaflets and assisted the loadmasters
throwing them out of the aircraft
door,” Pte Levitt said.
“For the leaflets to disperse over
the target area individually, our
psyops team and the loadmasters par-
tially undid some of the box seals so
they would separate soon after leav-
ing the aircraft.
“I also filmed the trial so we could
see the effectiveness of the delivery
method after the flights.
“I had just come off my psyops
course, so it was a great opportunity
to put into practise what I’d just
learnt. It was awesome.”
WO2 Henrichs said the trial flight
was a success, with 99 per cent of the
leaflets falling within the target area.
“The procedures have now been
given to the Air Force for finalisation
and will be printed in our publica-
tions,” he said.
“Once they are finalised, we a
will be able to conduct a leaflet drop
at any time.”
OC 84 Wg Gp-Capt Carl Newman
said the leaflet drop added a new tool
to the already extensive C-130J aerial
delivery capability, delivering infor-
mation in support of operations.
“There are potentially numerous
applications for use of C-130J leaflet
drops by Defence, from providing
essential information to affected
populations in areas where com-
munications infrastructure has been
destroyed by natural disasters, to
meeting information operations tacti-
cal objectives in a combat environ-
ment,” Gp-Capt Newman said.
“In recent years the C-130J has
engaged with a number of high-tech
information systems, but that has not
prevented us from embracing low
tech solutions such as airdropping
leaflets when they prove to value add
to the capability.
“Air Force was excited to assist in
the development of this capability for
Army and the wider ADF.”
Australian Army 1st Int Bn
soldiers and Air Force crew drop
leaflets from a C-130 Hercules.
Photo: Cpl Joshua Thomas
Army and Air
combine in a
Above, a Hercules
from it and
right, Army and
Air Force crew
prepare leaflets for
Photos: LAC Mathew
Howard and Cpl Joshua
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